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City invites public to join the big conversation to help shape new housing strategy

May 26 2017

"It's a critical time to boldly reset our approach to creating housing, with the affordability crisis impacting all incomes and neighbourhoods," says Mayor Gregor Robertson.

Rows of mixed housing types for families

We officially launched our public consultation process today to collect feedback from residents about the recently proposed priorities and actions to address Vancouver's housing affordability crisis.

Our work to address housing affordability over the last eight months has shown that enough supply is being produced to serve the overall population, but it is not the right kind of supply to meet the incomes and housing needs of residents.

In March, City Council approved the emerging directions to help form the City's new housing strategy, a new approach to delivering housing affordability for local residents now and into the future.

Provide feedback on the proposed new priorities and actions

We are looking for all Vancouver residents to provide feedback on the proposed new priorities and actions, which will focus on building the right supply of housing across the city.

Feedback received will help form our new 10-year housing and homelessness strategy, Housing Vancouver.

Residents from across the city, renters, home owners, seniors, youth and families, are invited to discuss how housing affordability affects their lives and to explore how proposed new priorities could shape a new approach to housing.

Help shape the final Housing Vancouver Strategy

Conversations with residents will continue over the summer months and into the fall. The results of engagement activities will be used to help shape the final Housing Vancouver Strategy, which will focus on building the right supply of housing for our growing population.

Staff will report back to City Council in late July with results of the initial public feedback, as well as an update on priority actions. Staff will also propose new interim 10 year housing targets that will create the "right type" of housing based on what people can afford, in new locations, and in housing forms that meets the needs of our diverse population.

These will be refined throughout the fall and will become part of the final Housing Vancouver Strategy.

Efforts to address the housing crisis

While we work with residents to map a new ten-year strategy, we remain dedicated in our efforts to act to address the housing crisis.

We have increased our efforts by launching the following programs and initiatives:

  • Approving over 6,500 rental homes for young people, families, and seniors
  • Requiring 35 percent of homes in all new apartment buildings to be for families (two or more bedrooms)
  • Bringing empty homes back into Vancouver's rental housing supply by applying a 1 percent tax to empty and under-utilized residential properties via the Empty Homes Tax
  • Proposing new regulations for Short Term Rental accommodations
  • Providing new opportunities for social, rental, and family housing through Community Plans, and the Cambie Corridor Phase III Planning Program
  • Providing more diversity of housing options, such as infills and laneways, through a review of duplex areas in Grandview-Woodlands and Mt. Pleasant
  • Offering 20 sites of City-owned land worth $250 million to the Provincial and Federal governments to build affordable rental housing
  • Opening Vancouver's first temporary modular housing development, in partnership with Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency (VAHA), to provide self-contained homes for 40 low-income tenants

Learn more about Housing Vancouver

Background:

On March 28, 2017, City staff presented City Council with the proposed new housing priorities.

Priorities identified and ideas the City is exploring to form the new Housing Vancouver Strategy include:

  1. Create more of the right type of housing based on what people can afford
    • Set new targets for housing development based on affordability to local residents
    • Expand the Rental 100 incentive program to provide more rental housing options with greater affordability
    • Create more rental housing for individuals and families near transportation hubs, including two new rapid transit stations
    • Preserve and re-investing in existing rental housing
  2. Accommodate Vancouver's changing communities by providing a diversity of housing in neighbourhoods across the city
    • Integrate diverse housing forms like rowhouses, townhouses, and duplexes into existing neighbourhoods
    • Create more opportunities for rental or ownership on single-and two-family lots, like rented laneway houses or stratified coach homes
    • Launch a public dialogue to discuss ideas on how our neighbourhoods can evolve in the future
  3. Ensure a healthy rental market through security and protection for renters
    • Continue advocacy for stronger Provincial renter protections
    • Enhance City protections and assistance for renters impacted by redevelopment
    • Increase availability of secured rental homes with greater affordability
  4. Provide City land to build new rental housing that is affordable to our residents
    • Work with the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency (VAHA) to develop 1,000 units of affordable housing on eight City-owned sites in 2017
    • Build an additional 3,800 new homes on six major City-owned properties
    • Identify future land areas for innovative housing ideas like temporary modular housing
  5. Prioritize delivery of projects designed to provide affordable rental homes
    • Implement a one-year pilot program to speed up production of affordable housing
    • Provide faster approval times for planning and development processes
  6. Make Homelessness rare, brief, and one-time
    • Deploy the new specialized City of Vancouver Homelessness Services Team
    • Implement the recommendations of the City of Vancouver Single Room Occupancy (SRO)Task Force through our new SRO action plan, to improve and transform Vancouver's SRO housing stock while protecting residents
    • Work with Metro Vancouver partners on a regional action plan on homelessness

Quote

Gregor Robertson, mayor of Vancouver

"It's a critical time to boldly reset our approach to creating housing, with the affordability crisis impacting all incomes and neighbourhoods," says Mayor Gregor Robertson. "The City is making big moves to get the right supply of housing that meets peoples' needs and incomes: a housing mix that includes rental housing, more townhomes, rowhomes and duplexes in our low and moderate density neighbourhoods. As we look at all options to keep Vancouver affordable now and into the future, I want to hear ideas from all residents on how the City can best meet their housing needs."